The best Catholic resources for reaching young adults

Advent Faith Sharing

By | Advent/Christmas | Posted on October 15, 2014

Advent Faith Sharing “Fourth Sunday of Advent with Pink” image by Will Humes licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 2.0” https://www.flickr.com/photos/willhumes/

Description: Advent Faith Sharing brings Young Adults together for an evening of conversation as the church prepares for the Christmas Season. This gathering will offer young adults space for quiet reflection, reading scripture, and sharing favorite poems, short stories, or writings about Christmas.

Get Ready

  • Prep Time: Begin preparing four to six weeks in advance to have enough time to publicize the event and reserve the space needed. One or two planning meetings will be needed prior to the event, and gathering and preparing materials will take one to two hours. Plan for about one hour ahead of the gathering time to set up and decorate the sacred space.
  • Volunteers Needed: Three to five volunteers will be responsible for name tags, music, prayers, short stories, scripture readings, prayer table, refreshments, and other aspects of the evening. You might also invite local musicians (young adults) to participate by providing the music.
  • Supplies:
    • Nametags
    • Opening and closing prayers ready for readers, either typed out or clearly marked in Bible.
    • Advent Examen prayer for team leader to pray as participants reflect. (See Help section.)
    • Laptop, CD player, or MP3 player for music.
    • Festive (Christmas) music playing as people arrive.
    • YouTube video/song ready for opening and closing prayer.
    • Quiet music (instrumental) for sharing time.
    • Have materials of your choice prepared in case people don’t bring poems, scripture or stories (eight to 10 possible selections).
    • Prayer table: cloth, Bible, candle, crucifix, Advent symbols, matches/lighter.
    • Light Refreshments (Christmas cookies, cocoa, tea, and coffee).
  • Reserve the Space: A comfortable space in your parish (depending on the size of the crowd). Could use a meeting space, daily chapel, or a parish center.
  • Ideal Group Size: Five to 20 for a more intimate setting, day chapel, or small gathering space. 20 to 50 if you have a larger gathering space.
  • Who is this for? All young adults, married or single.
  • When is a good time for this? A Sunday or weekday evening.
  • Publicize the Program:
    • Create a flyer to hang around the parish and at locations in the wider community (coffee shops, library, local restaurants, cultural centers)
    • Bulletin announcement (include surrounding parishes)
    • Post an invitation and reminders on Facebook and Twitter
    • Make an event posting in the local newspaper or other local media outlets.
    • Publications should include invitation to bring their favorite Christmas poem, short stories, or scripture. 

Prayer for Program Planner: God, our eternal story-teller, gift the young adults in our community with the ability to share their stories. Call forth the stories you wish our group to hear and open our hearts and minds to your Advent message for us. Amen.

Community Building: This program builds a small, but intimate, community. Through story-telling, the young adults are able to build relationships and deepen their faith. The community becomes stronger because they are sharing their faith-lives with one another.

About the Author

Laurie Marshanke

Laurie Marshanke has spent the past 18 years working with youth and young adults throughout the Diocese of Buffalo. Most recently, Laurie works as a ministry development coordinator at the diocese and is the director of multi-parish youth and young adult ministry at St. Vincent de Paul and St. John de LaSalle Parishes in Niagara Falls, New York. At the St. Joseph Center for Spirituality, Laurie is pursuing her certificate in spiritual direction. She is a retreat facilitator for youth and young adults and is an associate with the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity in Stella Niagara, New York.